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Travis CU Director of Corporate Communications Sherry Cordonnier (forefront) and SVP and Chief Loan Officer Stacy Fifield testify before the California Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions, which held an informational hearing in November on various nonprofit and community based organizations with small-dollar loan products.

CU TESTIFIES ON 'ERA TANDA' LOAN
updated 12/04/13 11:02 AM
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Representatives from Travis CU recently testified before the California Senate Banking Committee about its new loan product that's geared to help the unbanked and under-banked Latino community access financial education and improve credit.

Travis CU Director of Corporate Communications Sherry Cordonnier and Senior Vice President and Chief Loan Officer Stacy Fifield were invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions, which held an informational hearing in mid-November on various nonprofit and community based organizations with small-dollar loan products.

The credit union recently finalized a small-dollar lending pilot program, the "New Era Tanda Loan Program." The pilot debuted in mid-2012, in part through a grant received by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). It was designed in partnership with Coopera, a firm focused on the emerging Hispanic market, to help Latino participants develop a 12-month shared savings goal and to take advantage of the credit union’s unique savings-and-loan offerings.

"We developed the program concept for this unique program centered on 'tandas' (also known as cundinas, sans or quinelas)," Cordonnier said. "Tandas—informal borrowing and lending circles—are common in immigrant cultures, especially Latin American immigrant cultures. The modernized tanda, developed by Travis Credit Union, aimed at bridging a cultural custom with the credit union experience."

Travis CU partnered with the Yolo Family Resource Center to conduct the pilot program, which used a grassroots and culturally relevant approach tailored to the local Latino community. Participants contributed on a monthly basis to a shared savings account and also received a group share-secured loan to help save for a down-payment on a vehicle. After successfully completing the program, each qualified participant was eligible for a Travis CU credit-building credit card and/or auto loan.

Through pre- and post-surveys, the credit union found that those who participated were more likely to use online banking, bill pay, checking accounts, ATM/ debit cards, credit cards, savings accounts and direct deposit than they were prior to the program. They were also more likely to balance a checkbook, cash checks, and use a personal budget, Cordonnier said.

"The pilot program was a success that will hopefully be replicated in the future at Travis Credit Union and other credit unions,” she added.

                           
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